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The World's Worst @Pinning the Straight Razor.

Chan Eil Whiskers

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That would be me.

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Trying to get my Wade back in the rotation, I bought some inexpensive but decent enough scales. This is the result of a couple of hours of frustrating but "careful" work.

It sure looks easy when experts do it.

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It's not like I haven't done the same thing before either; these white scales were nice, handmade, and heartbreaking to ruin. Fortunately today's ruined scales were only a matter of a few bucks in terms of everything but today's labor and frustration.

I'm good at tightening slightly loose scales, but when it comes to starting from scratch I'm terrible.

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I've watched every video I can find, bought the tools and such one is supposed to need, and thought about the matter at length. I've not practiced a great deal. Frankly it is seeming like a job beyond me.

I'm considering trying one more time (not today). Only one more time.

Fortunately other SR related matters are all coming along nicely.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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This would be one of the experts I enjoy watching.


It's clear to me he's using better (softer) metal. Plus he's got every little thing just right for his method.
 
Good video, I think he's done a few because I seem to remember watching them when I started.

But, Jim. I'm speechless.
I guess pinning scales is not your forte.

Don't give up yet though.
What I would do is source some cheap 1.5mm brass rods and washers. Also get a cheap sheet of acrylic and cut it into scale size strips.
Then put two strips together, drill holes through them and use that to practice your pinning technique for as long as it takes to get it close to being right. Or until your comfortable with it.
You could even use whats left of the scales you've broken.

I think practice is what your needing before you attempt pinning that razor again.
 

joamo

Contributor
It looks like you were using nickel silver rod. I haven't had much luck with that myself and use brass mostly. You may be able to anneal or soften it. I'll let the more experienced explain that process to you.
 

RumpleBearskin

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This is the result of a couple of hours of frustrating but "careful" work.
Wow! That looks like a bad case of missing the rod and hitting the scale with way more force than is needed to peen either brass or nickle-silver.

Two suggestions:
  1. Ease up on the force of the stroke. It doesn't take much to deform the rod. "Lots of light taps" is the mantra. You may want to consider a lighter hammer. (I usually use a 2oz hammer but have a 1oz in case I feel strong that day.)
  2. You want the rod to extend very little beyond the washers when you start. Too much rod means way more material to move and more strikes with the hammer. The extra material at the edges of the dome will likely split and be "rough" as well. The rod should only extend about a washer's width beyond the washer when you start peening.
I'm no expert, but the above have been key points for me.

Best of luck...
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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I've watched these and other videos.

I'm not sure exactly what the rod I was using was. I have several little pinning kits. Rods came with all of them.

From watching the video I linked it's very apparent that the nickel silver he's using is vastly softer than what I've been using. His few little taps are sufficient to make his rod blossom. I used today literally hundreds of little taps (and mine were probably heavier than his).

I've ordered a little kit of brass and will also order a little kit of nickel silver.

In theory I know how to do the job. I probably need to drill the perfect hole in my anvil. That and a divot.

Everyone's advice seems good, helpful, and insightful to me. Thanks, gentlemen. I probably should practice on some "pretend scales" before risking any more actual scales (homemade or store bought).

I'm also considering just sending the blade to a pro and paying the expert, but I really would like to master this part of the SR world. It seems easy enough for others, so it shouldn't be beyond me.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Why did you use a plastic? Teflon? washer between scales and blade?

The washer (steel,brass) is used to get a higher friction between blade and scales.
Which lowers your need of tightening more and more.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Why did you use a plastic? Teflon? washer between scales and blade?
Mostly because I've read a number of posts and watched several videos saying that's the way to do it.

Also because the washers were included in the kits I purchased.

The washer (steel,brass) is used to get a higher friction between blade and scales.
Which lowers your need of tightening more and more.
So, you're saying to use a steel or brass washer between the blade and the scales? One on each side of the blade between the scales and the blade?

Not saying that's wrong (I don't know anything about it) but wouldn't that cause the metal of the washers to dig into the scales over time?

Why do people use the plastic or Teflon washers if not to decrease friction (and increase the distance a bit)?

What size metal washers do you use between the blade and the scales?

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
So, you're saying to use a steel or brass washer between the blade and the scales? One on each side of the blade between the scales and the blade?
Yes, that is what I do. Most of the vintage straight razor I restored had them as well. I think all of the razor with ivory scales I have seen so far had them as well. And ivory is a sensetive material!

When you look at the stiction formula:

Fmax = ucoeff x Fpeen

The force Fmax is the force you have to overcome to get the blade moving. It depends on Fpeen which is the force that presses your scales against the tang and on the friction coefficent ucoeff. One can therfore say:

The bigger your friction coefficent ucoeff is, the less force you need to prevent your blade from moving. Or the oppostite: The smaller your friction coefficent ucoeff is, the more force you need to prevent your blade from moving.

To give you some ideas about the difference in values:

steel - PTFE (Teflon):
ucoeff ~ 0.04 (or 0.05 - 0.2, depending on the source)

steel - steel:
ucoeff ~ 0.15 ... 0.3 (or 0.5 - 0.8, depending on the source)

steel - brass:
ucoeff ~ 0.2 (or 0.35, depending on the source)

Doing my research to give you a proper answer I found out, that plastic is not as bad as I thought:

steel - polystyrene:
ucoeff ~ 0.3-0.35
steel - polythene:
ucoeff ~ 0.2

But I would still not use it, because one usually get the description made of "plastic" without knowing which kind of plastic it is.

This means you need several times as much force pressing your scales together if you are using Teflon instead of brass or steel washers.

Sources for the coefficents:
If something is unclear, I am sorry. English is not my first language.

Not saying that's wrong (I don't know anything about it) but wouldn't that cause the metal of the washers to dig into the scales over time?
I checked several old scales I had laying around. Good I didn't throw them away yet.
The results are mixed, some have, others don't. This probably depends on the material, if it is bakelit, celluloid or plastic. I did not take apart horn or wood scales yet. It should also depend how "much" you peen them.

Why do people use the plastic or Teflon washers if not to decrease friction (and increase the distance a bit)?
I can't tell you. Probably somebody started with it and people just followed without asking questions.
I mean, it's aero space technology, how can that be not useful? Ask a seller why they sell it!
They will probably not stop selling them until they run out of them.

One should probably tell people about the problems of doing it. I try my best, but can not be everywhere.
Maybe I should do a post.

What size metal washers do you use between the blade and the scales?
I use the ones Revisor from Solingen supplies. They have 2mm inner and 6m outer diameter made of brass. After they are used up I will use M2 (metric, 2,2mm inner, 5mm outer) washer out of steel or brass.
 
Jim, try peening with a spoon instead of a hammer. I use a standard size steel spoon and it works really well. Large 'face' area spreads the impact around and the light weight keeps you from tap tap tapping too hard. I do most of the peening with the spoon and then switch to a small ball peen hammer once I have it almost done to smooth it out more on the edges.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Jim, try peening with a spoon instead of a hammer. I use a standard size steel spoon and it works really well. Large 'face' area spreads the impact around and the light weight keeps you from tap tap tapping too hard. I do most of the peening with the spoon and then switch to a small ball peen hammer once I have it almost done to smooth it out more on the edges.
I've considered it. I'm virtually certain the problem in my rods are wrong. They can't be anything like the ones I see blossoming so easily in the videos. My hammer has a very wide and also domed head. It's not the standard ball peen hammer at all; I've forgotten its formal name.

Yes, that is what I do. Most of the vintage straight razor I restored had them as well. I think all of the razor with ivory scales I have seen so far had them as well. And ivory is a sensetive material!

When you look at the stiction formula:

Fmax = ucoeff x Fpeen

The force Fmax is the force you have to overcome to get the blade moving. It depends on Fpeen which is the force that presses your scales against the tang and on the friction coefficent ucoeff. One can therfore say:

The bigger your friction coefficent ucoeff is, the less force you need to prevent your blade from moving. Or the oppostite: The smaller your friction coefficent ucoeff is, the more force you need to prevent your blade from moving.

To give you some ideas about the difference in values:

steel - PTFE (Teflon):
ucoeff ~ 0.04 (or 0.05 - 0.2, depending on the source)

steel - steel:
ucoeff ~ 0.15 ... 0.3 (or 0.5 - 0.8, depending on the source)

steel - brass:
ucoeff ~ 0.2 (or 0.35, depending on the source)

Doing my research to give you a proper answer I found out, that plastic is not as bad as I thought:

steel - polystyrene:
ucoeff ~ 0.3-0.35
steel - polythene:
ucoeff ~ 0.2

But I would still not use it, because one usually get the description made of "plastic" without knowing which kind of plastic it is.

This means you need several times as much force pressing your scales together if you are using Teflon instead of brass or steel washers.

Sources for the coefficents:
If something is unclear, I am sorry. English is not my first language.



I checked several old scales I had laying around. Good I didn't throw them away yet.
The results are mixed, some have, others don't. This probably depends on the material, if it is bakelit, celluloid or plastic. I did not take apart horn or wood scales yet. It should also depend how "much" you peen them.



I can't tell you. Probably somebody started with it and people just followed without asking questions.
I mean, it's aero space technology, how can that be not useful? Ask a seller why they sell it!
They will probably not stop selling them until they run out of them.

One should probably tell people about the problems of doing it. I try my best, but can not be everywhere.
Maybe I should do a post.



I use the ones Revisor from Solingen supplies. They have 2mm inner and 6m outer diameter made of brass. After they are used up I will use M2 (metric, 2,2mm inner, 5mm outer) washer out of steel or brass.
Very helpful. Your English seems great to me. Thanks so much.
 
By the looks of it, your rod is to long. So when you're peening it the rod is bending (99% sure that was the cause with the white scales).
I'm not sure how you are doing it but this is what I do. I clamp the rod in a bench vise, slide the washer on and file the end of the rod down to 1.5 x the width of one washer. Then peen the end gently. If you're bending the rod, not just mushrooming the end, you're hitting to hard.
Then put the razor together and do the same against a peen block (or something hard like another hammer).
As pointed out.. you could also be using to stiff of a rod, if its stainless steel, your going to have a tough time. Brass or nickle silver is whats used most often

So, to practice, I would drill new holes in the broken scales and pin it again and again until I felt pretty sure I wasn't going to break another set of new scales..
Hope it helps.

,
 
Jim, try peening with a spoon instead of a hammer. I use a standard size steel spoon and it works really well. Large 'face' area spreads the impact around and the light weight keeps you from tap tap tapping too hard. I do most of the peening with the spoon and then switch to a small ball peen hammer once I have it almost done to smooth it out more on the edges.
THIS.

A spoon, perhaps with a small lump of JBWeld in the bowl for a tiny bit of added weight, works great for Nickel Silver, or brass. The idea is to use light but SHARP whacks, not taps. No hammer. Too much density, too little striking surface. IMHO the worst thing you could use is a tiny tiny hammer. A hammer is a chunk of concentrated destruction stuck on the end of a stick.

Cracked scales when pinning can be from missing the pin, or from peening down too tightly. After every few whacks on the pivot pin, check for resistance to pivoting the blade. When you feel that it is tight and resists pivoting just a bit, stop.

Summing up, use spoon, not hammer. Use WHACKS, not taps. Don't peen down too tight with fragile scale material. Nickel Silver is fine, and in fact should be preferred over brass, though brass will get you in the game.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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By the looks of it, your rod is to long. So when you're peening it the rod is bending (99% sure that was the cause with the white scales).
I'm not sure how you are doing it but this is what I do. I clamp the rod in a bench vise, slide the washer on and file the end of the rod down to 1.5 x the width of one washer. Then peen the end gently. If you're bending the rod, not just mushrooming the end, you're hitting to hard.
Then put the razor together and do the same against a peen block (or something hard like another hammer).
As pointed out.. you could also be using to stiff of a rod, if its stainless steel, your going to have a tough time. Brass or nickle silver is whats used most often

So, to practice, I would drill new holes in the broken scales and pin it again and again until I felt pretty sure I wasn't going to break another set of new scales..
Hope it helps.
THIS.

A spoon, perhaps with a small lump of JBWeld in the bowl for a tiny bit of added weight, works great for Nickel Silver, or brass. The idea is to use light but SHARP whacks, not taps. No hammer. Too much density, too little striking surface. IMHO the worst thing you could use is a tiny tiny hammer. A hammer is a chunk of concentrated destruction stuck on the end of a stick.

Cracked scales when pinning can be from missing the pin, or from peening down too tightly. After every few whacks on the pivot pin, check for resistance to pivoting the blade. When you feel that it is tight and resists pivoting just a bit, stop.

Summing up, use spoon, not hammer. Use WHACKS, not taps. Don't peen down too tight with fragile scale material. Nickel Silver is fine, and in fact should be preferred over brass, though brass will get you in the game.
Thank you, gentlemen.

Excellent and helpful advice!

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Oh come now. A hammer works fine, it's not the tool's fault. It's the tool that's using the hammer that can be the problem. :001_302: DAMHIKT!

Anyway, I would definitely make sure you've got the right pin material, stainless can definitely ruin your day pretty easily. Ideally you want a hammer with a small ball. Not a large radius dome. The smaller point of contact means the material will yield and flow with a lighter hit, because the force is concentrated in a smaller area - which means a higher pressure per unit of area. This means you'll get local deformation at the head of the pin easier without putting so much force into the rest of the pin.

You also don't want to keep hitting in the same spot over and over. Think about it. If you keep hitting the same place repeatedly, the head of the pin will take the form of the hammer or whatever object you're using to strike it. That means the area in contact gets higher and higher. Which means you need to hit harder and harder to get it to yield. So keep that hammer moving around and rotate your razor as much as you're able at the same time to help move those points of impact around.

I've listed this setup before but it works very well, so I'll add it here also. I start the first peen by inserting the pin through the scales and then clamping the pin in a vise with the scales resting on top of the jaws so that the pin sticks out about 1/16" past the top washer. Lightly peen enough to hold the washer in place, then I remove the assembly from the vise and flip it over. Add another washer and cut the pin at about 3/32" from the washer then file the end of the pin flat. Set the previously peened end on the ball anvil and peen the second side. Go back and forth from one side to the other until the tension is where I want it, constantly moving the razor by rotating and shifting it around and also moving the point of contact where the hammer hits.

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Chan Eil Whiskers

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Oh come now. A hammer works fine, it's not the tool's fault. It's the tool that's using the hammer that can be the problem. :001_302: DAMHIKT!

Anyway, I would definitely make sure you've got the right pin material, stainless can definitely ruin your day pretty easily. Ideally you want a hammer with a small ball. Not a large radius dome. The smaller point of contact means the material will yield and flow with a lighter hit, because the force is concentrated in a smaller area - which means a higher pressure per unit of area. This means you'll get local deformation at the head of the pin easier without putting so much force into the rest of the pin.

You also don't want to keep hitting in the same spot over and over. Think about it. If you keep hitting the same place repeatedly, the head of the pin will take the form of the hammer or whatever object you're using to strike it. That means the area in contact gets higher and higher. Which means you need to hit harder and harder to get it to yield. So keep that hammer moving around and rotate your razor as much as you're able at the same time to help move those points of impact around.

I've listed this setup before but it works very well, so I'll add it here also. I start the first peen by inserting the pin through the scales and then clamping the pin in a vise with the scales resting on top of the jaws so that the pin sticks out about 1/16" past the top washer. Lightly peen enough to hold the washer in place, then I remove the assembly from the vise and flip it over. Add another washer and cut the pin at about 3/32" from the washer then file the end of the pin flat. Set the previously peened end on the ball anvil and peen the second side. Go back and forth from one side to the other until the tension is where I want it, constantly moving the razor by rotating and shifting it around and also moving the point of contact where the hammer hits.

View attachment 988414

View attachment 988415
Amazing how helpful the various replies are here, particularly including yours.

I will read this again and ponder it over the weekend. I want to totally understand exactly what experienced gentlemen such as you are doing. I know I doing at least something wrong, perhaps several somethings.

My suspicion is the rod I was using might have been a steel far too hard.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Uh, hate to tell you this @eKretz, but the contact area, no matter how big the "hammer" face is, is limited by the area of the end of the pin. The only way you get less contact area is to have a hammer face that is smaller than the pin. Ergo, just no. Don't bother with teeny weeny hammers. Spoon is better. The struck area is the area of the head of the pin. With a 12" dia hammer head. the struck area is the size of the head of the pin. With a 1/8" dia hammer head, teh struck area is the area of the head of the pin. All the way down to 1/16" dia or actually a bit bigger once the head has begun mushrooming. The spoon earns its keep, by preventing misplaced blows. And that hammer is a monster, for pinning. What is it... 4oz? 6oz? You are of course correct in other points. No way would I attempt to use stainless steel pins. If you like your hammer that's cool. But trust me, having used all sorts of hammers and spoons... spoon will destroy far fewer scales and get the job done nicely, with a half ounce or an ounce of JB Weld in it.

Jim, if you are using steel rod, it is not surprising that you are having troubles. Get some Nickel/Silver and your problems are solved. It is all over the internet. Brass is even easier though I find it a bit too soft, myself.
 

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
Gotta disagree @Slash McCoy. You are correct if you are talking about a flat hammer head and a flat pin end. We file the pin end flat, but a peening hammer (or chasing hammer) is domed, not flat. Only a very small surface area of the hammer contacts the pin. That's the reason it deforms into a dome rather than just compressing and bending.

I've had no issues when following this process:
I've listed this setup before but it works very well, so I'll add it here also. I start the first peen by inserting the pin through the scales and then clamping the pin in a vise with the scales resting on top of the jaws so that the pin sticks out about 1/16" past the top washer. Lightly peen enough to hold the washer in place, then I remove the assembly from the vise and flip it over. Add another washer and cut the pin at about 3/32" from the washer then file the end of the pin flat. Set the previously peened end on the ball anvil and peen the second side. Go back and forth from one side to the other until the tension is where I want it, constantly moving the razor by rotating and shifting it around and also moving the point of contact where the hammer hits.
 
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